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Question

122. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress made on implementing all aspects of the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010 to 2030 that are relevant to his Department and bodies under his remit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8624/19]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Among the most significant achievements in Irish by the Department of Justice and Equality in the past nine years is the publication of an official Irish version of the Rules of Court, translated by the Department or under the aegis of the Department. The Department has now published the official Irish version of the 1986, the 1997 and the 2001 consolidations of the Rules of the Superior Courts, the District Court Rules and the Circuit Court Rules, respectively, and many of the Amendments subsequently made to them, including the Rules of the Superior Courts (Court of Appeal Act 2014) 2014.
Excerpts from those consolidated Rules have also been made available to a wider audience than those in the legal profession, through a project at Dublin City University ( www.gaois.ie). Furthermore, the terminology in the Irish version of the District Court Rules 1997 and the Circuit Court Rules 2001 has also been made available on that project’s popular electronic dictionary, at www.tearma.ie, and work on making the terminology from the Rules of the Superior Courts, 1986 similarly available has been carried out in recent months and is due to be completed by July this year.
The Department has added to the membership and to the work of the Irish Legal Terms Advisory Committee, which is under the aegis of the Department and chaired by Chief Justice Frank Clarke.
The Department has run a number of specially tailored internal Irish courses for officials of the Department, and officials also attended courses outside of the Department and achieved qualifications ranging from the Irish European Certificate ( TEG ) to a Master’s Degree in the case of one official.
The Department currently has one post, that of Translator, where it is a requirement for the holder to be functionally bilingual in Irish and English. It also has a cohort of 45 officers on a list of staff who are available to provide services (i.e. answer queries) in Irish.
Among the Department’s initiatives as regards the Irish language was the adoption of Tailte Éireann as the single official name for the new body being formed from the merger of the Property Registration Authority, Ordnance Survey Ireland and the Valuation Office.
An Garda Síochána
An Garda Síochána introduced a recruitment policy change in 2013, which initiative saw 10% of positions set aside for candidates fluent in the Irish language.
An Garda Síochána currently has 163 native Irish-speaking members, and many other members who are fluent Irish speakers, capable of carrying out their duties through the medium of Irish throughout the Divisions.
An Garda Síochána is currently focusing on increasing the number of fluent Irish-speaking members in Gaeltacht stations and will then focus on stations that in part service Gaeltacht areas. The organisation has given An Coimisinéir Teanga and Gaeltacht communities a commitment that steps will be taken to ensure that all members serving in Gaeltacht stations will be able to carry out their duties confidently and effectively through the medium of Irish in the future. The organisation is in the process of finalising a new Allocations Policy for Gaeltacht Stations whereby a new Irish Language Proficiency Panel will be established, and will include members at Garda and Sergeant rank who have expressed an interest in working in a Gaeltacht station and who have demonstrated the required proficiency in An Garda Síochána’s new Irish Language Competency Framework. All vacancies in Gaeltacht stations, as they arise, will be filled from this Panel.
Irish language training is compulsory for all Garda recruits completing training in the Garda College, with presentations provided on aspects such as language awareness and language rights. All staff have been made aware of the organisation’s legislative requirements and of the requirement to respect language choice when dealing with a member of the public.
An Irish Language Liaison Officer has been appointed by An Garda Síochána – this is a full-time role which aims to enhance the level of Irish language services provided by An Garda Síochána.
A Gaeltacht Programme has been in operation since 2011 and offers personnel the chance to participate in Irish language courses, specifically designed for the organisation, in Gaeltachtaí around the country.
An Garda Síochána has also been involved with Oireachtas na Gaeilge for the past number of years in an effort to engage with the Irish-speaking community.
Gaeilge
Ar na nithe is mó atá bainte amach ag an Roinn Dlí agus Cirt agus Comhionannais, ó thaobh na Gaeilge de, le naoi mbliana anuas, tá leagan oifigiúil Gaeilge de na Rialacha Cúirte, arna n-aistriú ag an Roinn féin nó faoi choimirce na Roinne, a fhoilsiú. Tá an leagan oifigiúil Gaeilge de chomhdhlúthuithe 1986, 1997 agus 2001 ar Rialacha na nUaschúirteanna, na Rialacha Cúirte Dúiche agus na Rialacha Cúirte Cuarda, faoi seach, foilsithe anois ag an Roinn, mar aon le go leor de na Leasuithe a rinneadh ina dhiaidh sin ar na Rialacha sin, lena n-áirítear Rialacha na nUaschúirteanna (An tAcht um an gCúirt Achomhairc, 2014), 2014.
Tá sleachta as na Rialacha comhdhlúite sin curtha ar fáil do phobal níos leithne ná an lucht dlí, chomh maith, ar chorpas comhthreomhar a bhaineann le tionscadal in Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath ( www.gaois.ie ) . Ina theannta sin, tá an téarmaíocht atá sa leagan Gaeilge de na Rialacha Cúirte Dúiche, 1997 agus na Rialacha Cúirte Cuarda, 2001 curtha ar fáil ar fhoclóir leictreonach an tionscadail, a bhfuil tóir ag an bpobal air, ag www.téarma.ie – táthar ag oibriú le míonna beaga anuas chun an téarmaíocht atá i Rialacha na nUaschúirteanna, 1986 a chur ar fáil amhlaidh, agus tá an obair sin le bheith curtha i gcrích faoi mhí Iúil na bliana seo.
Tá an Roinn tar éis cur le comhaltas agus le hobair an Choiste Chomhairlithigh um Théarmaí Dlíthiúla Gaeilge, atá faoi choimirce na Roinne agus faoi chathaoirleacht an Phríomh-Bhreithimh Frank Clarke.
Tá an Roinn tar éis roinnt mhaith sainchúrsaí inmheánacha Gaeilge a reáchtáil d’oifigigh na Roinne, agus d’fhreastail oifigigh ar chúrsaí lasmuigh den Roinn, chomh maith, agus bhain cáilíochtaí amach ó Theastas Eorpach na Gaeilge go Céim Mháistreachta i gcás oifigigh amháin.
Tá post amháin mar Aistritheoir sa Roinn a bhfuil sé riachtanach go mbeadh sealbhóir an phoist sin dátheangach go feidhmiúil sa Ghaeilge agus sa Bhéarla. Tá cohórt de 45 oifigeach ar liosta de bhaill foirne sa Roinn atá ar fáil chun seirbhísí a sholáthar (i.e., ceisteanna agus fiosruithe a fhreagairt) as Gaeilge.
Ar thionscnaimh na Roinne ó thaobh na Gaeilge de, bhí Tailte Éireann a cheapadh mar ainm aonair oifigiúil ar an gcomhlacht nua atá á bhunú ar an Údarás Clárúcháin Maoine, Suirbhéireacht Ordanáis Éireann agus an Oifig Luachála a chumasc.
An Garda Síochána
Sa bhliain 2013 rinne an Garda Síochána athrú ar a mbeartas earcaíochta a thabhairt isteach lena ndearnadh 10% de na poist a chur ar leataobh d’iarrthóirí atá líofa sa Ghaeilge.
Faoi láthair is cainteoirí Gaeilge ó dhúchas iad 163 comhalta den Gharda Síochána, agus tá go leor comhaltaí eile ar cainteoirí líofa Gaeilge iad agus atá ábalta a gcuid dualgas a chomhlíonadh trí mheán na Gaeilge ar fud na Ranna.
Tá an Garda Síochána ag díriú faoi láthair ar líon na gcomhaltaí ar cainteoirí líofa Gaeilge iad a mhéadú i stáisiúin Ghaeltachta agus díreoidh an eagraíocht ansin ar stáisiúin a fhreastalaíonn go páirteach ar limistéir Ghaeltachta. Tá gealltanas tugtha ag an eagraíocht don Choimisinéir Teanga agus do phobail Ghaeltachta go ndéanfar bearta chun a chinntiú go mbeidh na comhaltaí go léir a bheidh ag fónamh i stáisiúin Ghaeltachta ábalta a ndualgais a chomhlíonadh go muiníneach éifeachtach trí mheán na Gaeilge sa todhchaí. Tá bailchríoch á cur ag an eagraíocht ar Bheartas nua Leithrannta do Stáisiúin Ghaeltachta faoi láthair faoina mbunófar Painéal nua Inniúlachta sa Ghaeilge, agus áireofar ann comhaltaí ar leibhéal an Gharda agus an tSáirsint a mbeidh spéis léirithe acu i bheith ag obair i stáisiún Gaeltachta agus a mbeidh an inniúlacht léirithe acu a bheidh ag teastáil sa Chreat nua Inniúlachta sa Ghaeilge atá ag an nGarda Síochána. Déanfar na folúntais go léir i stáisiúin Ghaeltachta, de réir mar a thiocfaidh siad chun cinn, a líonadh ón bPainéal.
Tá oiliúint sa Ghaeilge éigeantach d’earcaigh uile an Gharda Síochána atá faoi oiliúint i gColáiste an Gharda Síochána, agus déantar roinnt cur i láthair ar ghnéithe ar nós feasacht teanga agus cearta teanga. Cuireadh na baill foirne go léir ar an eolas maidir le ceanglais reachtúla na heagraíochta agus maidir leis an gceanglas meas a bheith acu ar a rogha teanga agus iad ag déileáil le duine den phobal.
Tá Oifigeach Idirchaidrimh Gaeilge ceaptha ag an nGarda Síochána – ról lánaimseartha atá sa ról seo, a bhfuil mar aidhm leis feabhas a chur ar an leibhéal seirbhísí Gaeilge a sholáthraíonn an Garda Síochána.
Tá Clár Gaeltachta i bhfeidhm ag an eagraíocht ó 2011 i leith agus tugann an Clár sin deis do bhaill den Gharda Síochána páirt a ghlacadh i gcúrsaí Gaeilge, atá sain-deartha don eagraíocht, i nGaeltachtaí ar fud na tíre.
Agus tá baint ag an nGarda Síochána le hOireachtas na Gaeilge le roinnt blianta anuas mar chuid d’iarrachtaí na heagraíochta dul i dteagmháil le pobal labhartha na Gaeilge.